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Fit to Be Taught, Vol.19

Wellness Policies Promote Healthy Choices

The federal mandate for schools to adopt written wellness policies has prompted many to look not only at what is served in their cafeterias but at snacks and drinks in vending machines, concession items, and more. The focus on better nutrition and more physical activity is designed to improve the health of students, and as schools from Pennsylvania to Idaho have told Education World, teachers support the effort. What have these schools learned?

"It is essential to involve students, parents, and teachers as soon as possible in the process," says Gail Heinemeyer. "Education is key. When a wellness policy comes as a top down mandate, there is resistance. If these folks are on board from the beginning and understand the reasons why these actions are being taken, it will be easier to implement the policies."

The Child Nutrition and WIC Reauthorization Act of 2004 that required schools to adopt written policies regarding nutrition and exercise by the start of the 2006-2007 school year prompted the creation of the Ridley School District Student Wellness Policy . Ridley Middle School has instituted a health and wellness advisory council that includes teachers, parents, students, administrators, guidance counselors, and the school nurse. Its members are reviewing the federal and district guidelines and will help develop surveys to assess the current state of nutrition in the Ridley Park (Pennsylvania) school.

Read the full article on Education World

Wellness News
Parents Protest Report Card Ads Some parents in Orlando, Florida, are complaining about McDonalds ads on report card covers.

To Break Even, Some Cafes Need Junk Food Some schools continue serving fast-food-type entrees to keep their food service in the black.

Focusing on Healthy Lifestyles

The Titusville (Pennsylvania) Area School District physical education program is designed to promote health, wellness, and lifestyle management.

The elementary-level program focuses on basic movements and age-appropriate skill development. In the upper grades, students use heart rate monitors and pedometers.

In middle school, sixth-grade students take a Wellness Education class in addition to their regular health and physical education classes. This Wellness Education class instructs the students in the benefits of physical fitness, as well as lessons concerning peer harassment and anger management.

Seventh- and eighth-grade students participate in daily physical education for a semester. During their class time they participate in cardiovascular and strength workouts in a state-of-the-art wellness center using heart rate monitors. Fitness portfolios are started in seventh-grade using fitness assessment software. Each student has a portfolio showing his or her fitness results in the areas of strength, cardiovascular endurance, FitnessGram test results, flexibility, body composition, and blood pressure. Each middle-school student also participates in an annual interactive Health Fair. The highlight of the fair is voluntary cholesterol screening.

In senior high, students participate in physical education every day. The high school program is operated as a selective program and is worth one full credit toward graduation. Students choose from numerous activities on a bi-weekly basis and have classroom lessons as well. Heart rate monitor-usage and portfolio development is continued through high school.

Read more about this program at: Titusville Area School District Physical Education.

Click to learn more about Action for Healthy Kids.

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